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Victor Clube at the 2010 Conference on Quantavolution

13 December 2010

The talk is available for download from http://www.2010-q-conference.com/globalwarmingand/index.html … the talk has the title, 'Global Warming and the Disallowed Protestant Calendar' but has nothing to do with the global warming debate at all except to point out that the warming trend out of the Little Ice Age is one thing and pollution as a result of industrialisation is a different issue. You cannot assume the former is in any way adverse if you don't understand what caused the Little Ice Age – and why those conditions do not exist today.

If we look at the ups and downs in temperature over the Holocene as a whole, even over the last 5000 years when civilisations existed in some location or other, we find there was a series of cooling periods, and this is the point that Isaac Newton was making – in the last pulse of the Little Ice Age. Newtons actually predicted, he says, the end of the cooling period – towards the end of the 19th century. Some people got hold of the erroneous idea he was talking about the end of the world, but no, he was roughly predicting the end of a cycle. Clube then switched attention to the calendar – and the calendar of Newton as opposed to the calendar we use today. The Gregorian calendar reform was all part of the Counter Reformation and seen as opposing the old-fashioned calendar of the Protestant churches in Europe – which had become out of date as the skies at night had quietened after a lot of activity – especially during the 17th century. The Protestants themselves were worried, he said, not by the actual act of reform but by the abandonment of what the old calendar represented in the minds of ordinary people. The old 365 day calendar was dominated by saints days – and these mattered more to people than if the calendar was exact – the extra quarter day could simply be dealt with by ad hoc adjustment. It had been for centuries. No big deal. The 365 day calendar was also inherited from Egypt – and probably from Babylonia too. It had pre-Greek and Roman origins and  was in use during ancient Egyptian history going back as far as 3000BC. In a couple of sentences he dismissed Sothic Dating as nonsense as it presumed people can read a calendar backwards. The Egyptian calendar was regularly adjusted in order to keep it in line with the seasons – which is what happened in Europe before the Gregorian reform. However, he then said something quite surprising. The 365 day calendar differs from the new calendar where the emphasis was on dividing the year into four at the solstices and the equinoxes. The old calendar was divided into three, he said – March, July, and November, a pattern that is still preserved in the saints days. This pattern is bound up with the annual fluxes of meteor streams – in particular the Taurid complex of Midsummer and November. A meteor stream is derived from the dust and debris left behind by the passage of comets – which is interesting in the context of ancient Egypt (or any other ancient society previous to the modern world). Comets were also associated with the gods and such ideas were pushed aside by the Enlightenment. Isaac Newton occupied that in between world, betwixt the old ideas and the new. During the 17th century the Protestants sought to uphold and maintain their view of God against the one adopted by the Catholic Church – which distanced God from regular visitations to Earth (the consequences of meteoric activity). This led to an attachment to the 365 day calendar even though the science of the new calendar was accepted, as the old calendar meant recognising Midsummer and November as a critical time dictated by God. If you did things in life corresponding with those times, such as celebrations involving lights and fires, they were being done within the godly regime. He then says an interesting thing as how can you prove the sort of thing just said. The so called Glorious Revolution, so beloved of academics and historians, began with an announcement in 1688 that the Dutch invading navy would set sail in July from The Hague. They did not actually make the crossing to England until November. This was, he said, in order to impress on the British people they were acting in God's name. The revolution was incredibly smooth as a result of this bit of conformity to the 365 day year – which was actually the intention of the new management team that took over the running of the country. The backers of William III were the equivalent of the City of London, and by cowtowing to the power of the Protestant God, one political party was able to outmanoevre the other political parties. In addition, 1688 was the year after the publication of Newton's Principia – and Clube spent some time on explaining why it said what it did and why it left out what he really had in mind. Evidence for the Protestant God weakened – as the Little Ice receded. The Glorious Revolution actually ushered in the very thing apposite to Newton – and the Protestant God, in the process of time.

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